Auld Lang Syne is the title of a Scottish poem set to the tune of a traditional folk song that is used to bid farewell to the old year at the stroke of midnight. This title can be translated into English as “old long since” or “long, long age”. It is one way of seeing in the New Year, but has a little tinge of melancholy running through it.
For our part, we Christians look back upon the past year entrusting it entirely to the mercy of God. Any regrets we may have we turn over to the Lord who is full of kindness and compassion. Confession heals everything. Moreover, we look to the coming year with great hope. We always believe in new beginnings. Most importantly, we start the new year with Jesus and Mary. Through, with and in them we are always victorious. This is what puts the “happy” in Happy New Year!
Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Fr. Tim Byerley,
Suggestions for Spiritual New Year Resolutions
1. Live Our Lady’s Messages at Fatima
The year 2017 marked the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal. In this most prophetic of all Marian apparitions, Our Lady made urgent pleas for mankind to reform themselves and pray her rosary daily.
2. Make more time for spiritual reading
St. Athanasius once said, “You will not see anyone who is striving after his advancement who is not given to spiritual reading.
3. Make good stewardship a lifestyle
Pope Francis often talks about the dangers of materialism, and his encyclical Laudato Si calls us to greater justice in how we use the goods of this world.
4. Share your Catholic faith with others
With so many people far away from God today (and with more and more people noticing it), the culture is ripe for evangelism.
5. Bring back regular penances
Living a penitential life, even outside of Advent and Lent, is the Catholic way of life. All of the Church’s saints performed penances habitually, either internally or externally, great and little, for themselves and for others.
6. Go an extra day to Mass
For 2018 think of ways you can arrange your schedule and activities so that you can make it to Mass either an extra day each week, or a few extra days a month.
7. Pray the rosary
No Catholic list of New Year’s resolutions would be complete without a daily rosary added in. If you already pray the rosary daily, you might spread devotion to the rosary in 2018.
8. Pick a new saint buddy
Choose a patron saint whose virtues you would like to emulate in 2018, and entrust your year to their special intercession.